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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  July 24, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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why did he do it? the massacre in norway. on this day of mourning, what we're learning about the suspect. we'll talk exclusively with the man who has to defend him. wedding day. a historic day in new york. hundreds of couples tie the knot. but what happens when they cross state lines? the appeal. what could be the last best hope for the young american accused of murder in italy. was key evidence flawed? and, making a difference. from the barrio to center stage, giving some adorable kids a reason to dance. captions paid for by nbc-universal television from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with
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lester holt. good evening. the tears flowed freely in norway today as a nation shock and saddened by friday's bombing and shooter massacre searched for comfort on a day of mourning. the death toll stands at 93. most of them kids, teenagers, trapped on a tiny island that a gunman turned into his personal killing ground. rarely do we get into the mind of a confessed mass killer so soon after such a horror. tonight, however the man who police say admits to the attacks is talking. but, sadly, his words may only add further trauma to a hurting nation. nbc's martin fletcher has new details froms a low tonig s osl. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. chilling, racist picture of a confessed killer is emerging from his own writings. he wanted to bring about a revolution that would end a centuries old muslim nation of europe. united in grief.
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norway's prime minister called friday's bomb and shooting attacks a national tragedy. in oslo, 17th century cathedral today, king harold and queen sonja cried with their people. 93 victims including about 80 teenagers sacrificed o ed one m obsession. tomorrow breivik will be arraigned in court. his lawyer said he wants to explain. but he already laid it all out on the internet. friday breivik posted a chilling 100-page manifesto which he says took him years to write, with chunks of it lifted from writings by the unabomber. he wrote, it is better to kill too many than not enough. later, we do not want to do this, but we're left with no choice. finally, i believe this will be my last entry. it is now friday, july 22nd.
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within hours, breivik killed seven in oslo and at least another 86 on the island. >> to my mom, i said there's a shooting on the island. i don't know what's going on. and i love you. i think i said, i don't know if i will see you again but at least i love you. >> reporter: the search continued today for bodies. little hope that any of the missing will be found alive. police also searching the island for signs of a possible second shooter. >> he said that he was acting alone, but we have to make sure that that's true. >> reporter: nbc's jay gray spoke exclusively to breivik's lawyer. >> he believes in a revolution. and he believes the only way he can make revolution is through violence. >> does he have he accomplished his goal? >> in his head he takes pride in this, yes. >> reporter: breivik's goal? to stop muslims from emigrating
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to europe. what they call multiculturism. growing numbers across europe agree. right-wing parties are becoming more powerful. this man is no right winger, but facts are facts. >> i grew up in a lily white society. now every fourth person in oslo is born of a nonwestern heritage. that is a lot of change in a relatively small number of years. >> reporter: in norway, islam is a second religion now. most muslims are recent immigrants and happy to be here. >> we live in peace and love out here. this country. and we love norway. >> reporter: breivik calmed his manifesto a european declaration of independence. he wrote that the massacre would serve as a tool to market his manifesto. a confessed killer with a message. lester? >> martin fletcher in oslo, starting us off tonight. martin, thank you. it is only monday morning in asia where financial markets are watching the unfolding u.s. debt showdown and fears of a negative
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overseas reaction have touched off a flurry of activity in washington to get the framework of a deal done by as soon as tonight, including a white house pow wow this evening between president obama and democratic congressional leaders. nbc's kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill to bring us up to speed. kelly? >> reporter: well, lester, no deal. speaker boehner told that to his house republicans today in a conference call. and while both parties have raised the concern about how markets might react negatively without a proposal in place, one aide told me that speaker boehner does not believe he is responsible for asian markets. boehner is setting a new target deadline now, hoping to have something ready by 2:00 tomorrow. no new photo ops to show the country both sides actually working together. instead, negotiators stayed behind closed doors today while the speaker and the president's top men staked out turf in duel b interviews. >> i would prefer to have a bipartisan approach to solve this problem.
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if that's not possible, i and my republican colleagues in the house are prepared to move on our own. >> today? >> today. >> reporter: treasury secretary tim geithner insists the cloud of default must be lifted. >> default would be a tax on all americans. it would cause irreparable damage to the american economy. it would be devastating to our credibility as a country. >> reporter: to avoid default and raise the debt limit, both parties say they can agree on spending cuts of about $1 trillion right away. a new commission to sort out more politically painful cuts over time. and the debt limit increase, $2.4 trillion, will be matched by at least that amount in spending cuts. but a huge fight is over timing. how long should this new debt limit increase last? democrats demand it go beyond the 2012 campaign. >> it must be extended in a way that gives certainty in the economy through '13 and not some short-term gimmick where we're right back in this fix in six or
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eight months. >> reporter: republicans countered that another debt ceiling deadline is needed to enforce that future cuts really happen. >> i know the president's worried about his next election. but, my god, shouldn't we be worried about the country? we've got a budget deficit of $1.5 trillion. >> reporter: and senate democrats are saying they want in on this, too. aides are pushing the majority leader, harry, reid, is working on his own proposal that could be brought forth and maybe get some more agreement. also tonight, house republican leader john boehner, he is telling some of his members that they need to be prepared for some sacrifice to ultimately get some kind of deal. lester? >> kelly o'donnell, thanks. >> as we mentioned, the world will be watching how the asian markets might react to all this. find live coverage on starting at 7:30 eastern time. wedding bells rang in this sunday across the state of new york where same-sex marriage became officially legal today. earlier this month lawmakers made new york the sixth and largest state to okay gay
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nuptials. nbc's michelle franzen is live at the new york city clerk's office where the wedding business was brisk today. michelle? >> reporter: lester, those back to back ceremonies started early this morning and wrapped up some eight hours later. hundreds of same-sex couples saying their vows and making history along the way. >> i pronounce you a married couple under the state of new york laws. >> reporter: making it official. michael and doug robinson were among the first couples married in new york city today. the first day same-sex marriage became law in new york state. together more than 25 years, they shared the moment with their two grown sons as their witnesses. >> we're so happy. that they can be with us. >> reporter: new york city ushered in the biggest wave of newlyweds. officials say out of the more than 800 who applied to get
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married today, 659 pickeded up their licenses. in manhattan, meredith and tiffany waited five hours before making their debut as a married couple. >> this is the most amazing day for new york. a celebration of love and history. >> reporter: city council speaker christine quinn wiped tears watching the first ceremonies and called it a victory for equal rights. >> today those families were told they matter and that the state of new york cares about them as much as anybody else. >> reporter: inside the clerk's office, organized chaos. volunteers helped couples wade through the process. even judges donated their time. >> it's quite extraordinary, the historic day. >> reporter: weddings in new york began at midnight with niagara falls as a backdrop. >> i keep thinking that -- that -- it just is not real. >> reporter: back in new york city, protesters also exercised their rights. but that didn't dampen the
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festive atmosphere. a collective celebration. along with a powerful, personal moment of saying "i do." and tonight another ceremony taking place here in the city. new york city's mayor michael bloomberg will efficient the wedding of his long-time chief policy adviser and his partner at gracie mansion. lester? >> michelle granzen in new york tonight, thanks. many of those couples who tied the knot in new york today came from outside the state and will find their newly married status will not follow them home. the state of gay marriage in this country is a hodgepodge of confusing laws. as nbc's george lewis reports, that means uncertainty for many same-sex couples. >> reporter: tom and steve came all the way from los angeles to get married in new york this morning. >> we're here to be married because we are not allowed to be married in our own home state. >> reporter: that's because in 2008, californians passed an initiative called proposition 8. outlawing same-sex marriage.
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>> compassion is the glory of life. >> reporter: 18,000 same-sex couples were wed in california before the measure passed. those marriages are still considered legal. but any same-sex marriages performed after the passage of prop 8 are not. so when tom and steve return here to los angeles, their marriage will not be recognized as legal by california. they'll have rights as domestic partners, but not the same rights as married people. >> this is becoming a gigantic mess. we are going to have states with different laws relating to recognition. >> reporter: new york now becomes one of six states plus the district of columbia where same-sex marriage is legal. in addition, maryland and rhode island have pledged to recognize marriages of same-sex couples from out of state. but 41 other states have said they will not recognize those marriages and under the defense of marriage act, neither will the federal government. ron wallin from california says the law is hurting him.
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he married his port nartner, tot now that tom has died, ron is ineligible for social security survivors benefits and he's forced to sell their home. >> we should most assuredly be allowed to have every single right that our fellow americans have. >> reporter: rights now being fought over state by state and at the federal level. george lewis, nbc news, los angeles. overseas now, the crisis is deepening in the horn of africa. a triangle of hunger along the borders of somalia, kenya and ethiopia. the u.n. say mrs. than 11 million people urgently need help. in somalia alone, tens of thousands may have already died from famine. nbc has traveled to the region and filed this report from a refugee camp in dadaab in northeast kenya. >> reporter: new graves are being dug in dadaab for those who made it here but made it too late.
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hunger and disease are killing many people, even within the camp. 1,000 new refugees arrived today. zana and her family were amongst them. with her uncle and two sick children, she's walked for 15 days from somalia. having made it to the edge of the camp, they struggle to find shelter, food and water. they seem helpless and they leave us to search the outskirts for a place to stay. dadaab is turning into a city. that's the fastest growing city in the world. every few days on the outskirts, a new settlement springs up just like this one on land that was previously uninhabited. across the border in somalia, distributing food is difficult and dangerous. in the town of dolo today, the u.n. world food program managed to get fresh help to the hungry. >> we're already reaching 1.5 million in somalia. 11 million throughout the drought zone. it's these 2.2 million of which these are part that have been
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unable to be reached that we're most concerned about. >> reporter: from here many have weeks of walking ahead to get to camps in ethiopia and kenya, where their journey will be over, but their suffering might not. hundreds of thousands of refugees in this camp alone still need urgent help. nbc news, dadaab. >> we will be continuing to follow this tragic story in the coming days. in the meantime for viewers who want to help, we have a list of ways to do that on our website. nightly.msnbm. amanda knox murder case. making a starting young in the dance studio and getting a leap on life.
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this is a critical week coming up for amanda knox. she's the american exchange student appealing her conviction in italy for the grisly murder of her roommate. the dna evidence used to put her behind bars has now been put under harsh cross-suscrutiny. >> reporter: can this really be the end? two trials. enough testimony to fill several books. and three years in prison may all come down to an appeals court hearing on monday. an italian judge and jury will hear from court appointed forensic experts. in the absence of an eyewitness and the defendants, amanda knox
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and raffaele sollecito. during this appeal, it appears a flaw may have emerged in the prosecution's case. in a written report to the court, the independent forensic scientists say that dna evidence failed to conform to international standards. the experts will testify to the dna material found on the knife allegedly used to murder knox's roommate, meredith kercher, an exchange student from england, was insufficient to reach a verdict of guilty. >> the truth is now finally coming out. i think it takes some pressure off of all of us. i think maybe we're all -- i think amanda put it well. we're all just breathing a little easier. >> reporter: and another key piece of evidence. dna allegedly matching knox's former boyfriend found on a bloody bra clasp is reportedly too contaminated to evaluate. the 24-year-old from seattle, washington, just celebrated her fourth birthday behind bars. with a cappacino shared with
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fellow inmates. >> she's definitely more hopeful she'll be spending christmases and everything from now on at home. >> reporter: in the closing stages of the trial, the defense team will also raise the issue of motive. the prosecution originally claimed this crime was linked to a sex game gone wrong. but it was never proved in court. the fallback motive that knox murdered her roommate in a jealous rage seems to have fallen flat. this week's testimony could reveal in the most dramatic way if an innocent person has been wrongly convicted. keith miller, nbc news, perugia. in london, fans are creating a makeshift me noimorial to amy winehouse. a london paper quoted her mother as saying it was only a matter of time before winehouse died. the singer struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. meanwhile, winehouse's best known album has shot to the top of the charts in great britain. when we come back here
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it was a little cooler today, a little, along the east coast. but what a week it has been. the heat dome that enveloped
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much of the country grew out of the midwest and slowly moved east, breaking more than 800 temperature records along the way. we're joined now by the weather channel's stephanie moore. what's it look like in the days ahead, stephanie? >> looks like we're going to see that heat start to break a little bit, lester. in fact, we're already starting to see that happen across parts of the northeast. thank goodness, we'll take every break we can get. in dallas/ft. worth we have had some 23 straight days of 100 or better since july 1st, since we've been in the upper 90s. in raleigh durham five straight day of temperatures above 100 degrees. that's a new record for them. we're now down to 90 in raleigh/durham. dallas is still roasting at 103 degrees. as we head into our monday, we're going to be dealing with those temperatures in the 90s, still. we're going to take a few degrees off in d.c. we're taking a few degrees off in raleigh/durham after being 101 today. by tuesday temperatures start warming their way up again. it is just a very short respite. at this time of the year we'll
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take any degree we can get. lester? >> i saw samantha. i said stephanie. thank you very much. >> you bet. the last flight of the space shuttle gave us something we've never seen before. this is the first ever shot taken from space of the shuttle's reentry to the earth's atmosphere. this picture of the shuttle "atlantis" was taken from the international space station. a remarkable image. a first in this year's tour de france. after 21 days of riding the winner was cadel evans. the first australian to capture cycling's most prestigious title. also the oldest winner since world war ii. next up here tonight, helping children get off on the right foot. e 1 on 1. we help them save money with generic prescriptions. we talk to them about prescription safety and -- help them save money. plus we discuss possible side effects and -- help them save money! we help them save money. get care 1 on 1 and talk savings, safety, and side effects when you transfer or fill
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to find and nurture talent is to give a gift that can change lives. in cuba's capital city, one of that country's brightest stars is doing just that. a dancer giving hope to the children of the barrio. nbc's mark potter has our making a difference report. >> reporter: in a desperately poor havana neighborhood at a crumbling palace once home to the u.s. cavalry during the spanish-american war, there is now music and grace amid dreams of glory in the spotlight. molding those dreams is a member of cuba's artistic royalty. she is dancer and coach laura
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alonzo, the daughter of legendary ballerina alicia alonzo, now sharing her passion with thousands of cuba's poor. >> this is where i can do more good. this is where it will -- the good work is. >> reporter: 15 years ago alonzo opened central prodanza, a barrio dance school that welcomes everyone, no matter their race, size or economic status. >> there's many talents that are being lost. and losing a talent is a sin. >> reporter: with hand me down costumes and donations from overseas, laura now trains 800 students at a time. and what many people find just so amazing here is that from this very humble setting, there are graduates now performing in cuba's national ballet on television, in nightclubs, and on stages around the world. one of laura's most gifted students is 22-year-old lester diaz who performs in cuba and overseas. he has trained at laura's studio
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since he was 7. >> he is from the neighborhood. >> reporter: on the streets near the school, lester was often in trouble until laura saved him by teaching him to dance. >> i tried getting into their hearts, into their souls, to see what makes them tick. what's going to make them feel it. and then once i have it, they're mine. >> reporter: a budding star now is 5-year-old jasmine perez. her mother makes her dance shoes and her father proudly escorts her to class, dreaming of the day she, too, might be just as famous as the world class teacher now sharing her success. mark potter, nbc news, havana. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. executive producer pat burke who leaves us tonight and will soon joinmy colleague, brian williams. i'm lester holt. for pat and all of us at nbc news, good night.


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